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Sophomore Receives Prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

By Beth Potier, Media Relations
April 18, 2007


When he’s not scaling academic heights, sophomore and Goldwater Scholarship winner Vasiliy Vorotnikov enjoys rock climbing, which he also teaches to Nashua youth. Credit: Courtesy Vasiliy Vorotnikov.

UNH sophomore Vasiliy Vorotnikov of Nashua has won a prestigious two-year Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for the 2007 – ’08 and ’08 – ’09 academic years. A chemical engineering major, Vorotnikov was one of 317 students selected on the basis of academic merit from among more than 1000 math, science and engineering students nominated nationwide. He is one of only two students from New Hampshire universities to receive the scholarship.

The Goldwater Scholarships, the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields, cover the costs of tuition, fees, books, room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. Almost all Goldwater Scholars pursue Ph.D.s in their fields.

Vorotnikov plans to pursue a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and conduct research in alternative energy sources. “I’m particularly interested in cellulosic ethanol and its mass production strategies. I believe that working on engineering methods for a higher yield of ethanol will be making a significant step toward saving the world by providing alternative fuel sources,” he says.

At UNH, Vorotnikov has worked extensively with Charles Smith, research professor of physics in the Space Science Center at the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth Oceans and Space. He also credits lecturer in mathematics Gertrud Kraut; his advisor, professor of chemical engineering P.T. Vasudevan; and the UNH Fellowship Office for helping him apply for and receive the award. “I find it amazing that the professors at UNH get to spend so much time helping students learn more about themselves, go through the process of applying, and get a chance to reach their goals,” says Vorotnikov.

“That Vasiliy received this honor as a sophomore – only a third of the Goldwater Scholars are sophomores – speaks to his remarkable qualifications as a scientist and a scholar,” says Robert Stiefel, fellowships coordinator and advisor at UNH. “We’re proud to have our second Goldwater Scholar in as many years.” Michael Antosh, a senior studying physics at UNH, received the Goldwater Scholarship for 2006- 2007.

A native of Moscow, Russia, Vorotnikov has lived in Nashua since 2000. He is the son of Sergey Vorotnikov and Kate Vorotnikova and a graduate of Nashua High School North.

Established by Congress in 1986 to foster and encourage excellence in science and mathematics, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation operates an educational scholarship program designed to provide opportunities for American undergraduate students with excellent academic records and outstanding potential. Goldwater Scholarships support study in the fields of mathematics, engineering and the natural sciences as preparation for careers in these areas. Awards are made on the basis of merit. Goldwater Scholars are eligible for one or two years of support. For more information, go to www.act.org/goldwater/.


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